It's getting absolutely ridiculous to watch as huge segments of people in one of the world's most powerful countries make massive and stupefying leaps backward in the name of the "pursuit of religious freedom."
As Santorum or Romney or whatever side-parted, bible-thumping, mouth-breathing white man happens to be leading the pack by the time you read this try to take on Barrack Obama to become president of the United States, it is with nauseating dread that I turn on the news every day to see what personal freedom will be under attack next in the name of a return to "traditional values."
The religious right has been up in arms about gays in the military.
They've foretold doom because of the ominous and horrible spectre that is same sex marriage.
Most recently of course, things are coming to a head over the issue of birth control.
Jesus Christ, enough with this religious shit already, America!
The religious right has a massive, angry God boner right now over the idea that Barrack Obama mandated that religiously affiliated institutions like schools and hospitals (not churches), be required to provide free contraception in their health plans for their employees.
In response, republican congressmen have forwarded an amendment to block any health mandate that violates a business owner’s beliefs; the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform held a hearing on Thursday February 16th to ask, “Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?; and current Republican frontrunner Rick Santorum has even used the issue to amp up his rhetoric to suggest that the democrats are "crushing" faith and has even implied that we're headed down a road that leads to some historically wacky re-envisioning of the French revolution and the use of the guillotine (No really, he was all over the map at a recent speaking engagement in Texas. Check it out).
Anyway, the really annoying thing about this entire episode isn't the fact that as Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney was OK with a state law that required virtually the same contraceptive coverage. And it isn't the fact that Republicans are fighting against something that most Americans (even most Catholics) are OK with. It isn't even the fact that the hearing held by a Congressional Oversight Committee to discuss this issue of contraception and women's health was made up entirely of men.
No, the thing that pisses me off the most about this issue is that it's being used, like so many other stupid, religious-based, archaic arguments, to try to bring more religion into American politics under the guise that the country was founded on these religious principles--when it so clearly wasn't.
Can we all just stop pretending the founding fathers of United States had any interest in involving religion in that country's government?
Nowhere in his volumes of correspondence, personal or otherwise, did George Washington ever describe himself as a Christian.
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, provided a particularly good summary of his thoughts on organized religion in a letter to America's second president, John Adams, when he noted:
Adams himself signed and proudly proclaimed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship at Tripoli on June 7, 1797; a treaty which notes explicitly, "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw in the mysticism of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system, which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power and pre-eminence.
(Yeah. Read that again, please.)
James Madison, father of the Constitution, noted that the fruits of Christianity have been "pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution."
Benajmin Franklin once burned down a church just because he was bored.
OK, I made that last part up. My point is that evidence of the founding fathers clear interest in separating church and state is readily available and clear to anyone with a grade-six reading level. So the information should be accessible to almost half of all Americans and a quarter of Congress. Heyo!
But seriously folks, regardless of their personal religions (upon which tomes of speculation exist), it's pretty clear to even a lazy, scotch-soaked internet "scholar" like me that one of the major reasons these grey-haired bastards wrote the Declaration of Independence and framed the Constitution in the first place was that they were pissed off at the clear corruption in organized religion, the inherent dangers with allowing religion to inform governance, and the boring churchiness of those stuffy asshole Brits.
The word "God" isn't anywhere in the American constitution, but this is: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
That Republicans keep attempting to invoke the names of the founding fathers as a means to insert more God into government, school, and even healthcare would have these freedom loving sons of bitches rolling in their graves.
For fuck sake, the second sentence of the first official document of the country's independence states that people are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so why are these Republican politicians so obsessed with telling women, gays, teachers, soldiers, and students (all of whom were created equal, according to something I read somewhere) what they can and can't say or do with their bodies, or who they can marry, or who they should worship?
So Americans, (the 12 of you that might read this) when you hear politicians say things like "the government is not to be free of the influence of faith and people of faith" (as Rick Santorum did on February 26th) I hope you react with all due rage-induced blood-vomiting at how positively un-American a sentiment it is to even suggest that religion might inform the way your country is governed. Your country wasn't founded on religion, it was founded on principals of liberty and personal freedom (so long as you're white and male, but that's another rant altogether...).